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Bethany cheer team includes special-needs athletes

Heart of the Empire is a special-needs team at Empire Elite cheer gym in Bethany.
BY EMPIRE ELITE ALL-STAR CHEER Published: December 15, 2012
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— Empire Elite All-Star Cheer gym, of Bethany, began its competitive cheerleading season on Dec. 1 in Oklahoma City at the Athletic Championships competition. There were five teams representing Empire Cheer, including Heart of the Empire, the special-needs team.

The Heart of the Empire is the gym's special-needs team comprised of athletes 4 years and older. The team participates in competitions throughout Oklahoma and Texas as either exhibition or fierce competitors.

The special-needs team has been successful for six years. However, if athletes with special needs prefer not to compete, tumbling classes are available year round.

“At Empire, our coaches and staff encourage the success of our athletes through self-confidence, teamwork, strength, trust, dedication,” said David Owens, Empire Elite All-Star Cheer Owner. “We do not discriminate on age or ability, everyone has the opportunity to be successful and we prove that daily.”

There are about 150 athletes who compete annually with Empire Cheer, ranging in ages from 4 to college age.

“My daughter is a cheerleader at Empire because it is like a family. David and his staff truly care about the kids and it's more than cheerleading to them. They teach them core values that are necessary in life,” said Chey Clark, parent of an Empire Elite athlete.

For more information about the program, call 789-9996, or go to www.empireelitecheer.com.